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Not paying attention

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Do you ever get the impression comic strip creators aren’t always meticulous about consistency and continuity? I do! Let’s see why:

Crankshaft, 5/3/16

Remember how elated Jeff was about neighbor Lillian naming her bookstore on Sunday? Well, turns out that was just a short while after his mother Rose suffered an episode of syncope that even today has him moping around the home where he spent his miserable childhood. He takes a break from self-pity to enjoy himself on weekends? Lack of commitment — sad!

Anyway, we’re lucky Ed wasn’t around to say, “I guess it’s syncope or swimcope for Rose now!”

Rex Morgan, M.D., 5/3/16 (panel)

Hey, it’s adorable gifted artist Sarah Morgan and half of her Dad!

Rex Morgan, M.D., 4/30/16 (panel)

And here she is last Saturday — last night in strip time. Does she want to see the damn house or not? Is the strip’s author confused? Is Sarah? Knowing the character, these flip-flops are probably part of whatever con she’s running.

Mary Worth 5/3/16

Hey, it’s beloved secondary character Wilbur Weston, Dawn’s Dad! Check out his uniquely neglectful parenting style: “Dawn, is this older man you’re spending all your time with trying to use his influence and position of authority to take advantage of you in some way? No? Okay, welp, grub’s getting cold GLOM GLORP SMACK.”

Always four hairs, all across the years — somebody’s showing commitment to the project! The intern who draws Crankshaft’s blackheads could take a lesson.

Luann 5/3/16

But for a truly neglectful relationship, consider the one between Josh and Luann: he has sworn a terrible oath to ignore the strip entirely, so these periodic updates fall to me. Hey, it’s the job.

Leslie (“It’s Les!”) Knox is a bully because he ignored Knute’s order not to enter a men’s bathroom Crystal was using, moments after Knute himself left it, and despite the fact that guys hanging out while girls pee is totally a thing here. Anyway, Knute attempted to choke Les as he walked in, but Les knocked him down, presumably did his business, and left. Got that? Les is the bully.

In an amazing feat of circumstance, he is also the nephew of Mr. Gray, who is both the taciturn and possibly mobbed-up former Las Vegas club manager who saved Luann’s parents’ nightclub and the lethargic swain of Gunther’s Mom. Small world. So Gray is calling in a favor from Luann’s parents by having them hire Les to work at the in-club restaurant TJ manages.

TJ is probably just checking his calendar there to show us that Les is compounding his bullyhood with tardiness. But I prefer to think the gang took Les to the vet to have him chipped, and that TJ is checking his BullyTrax® app.


– Uncle Lumpy

Spring 2016 fundraiser

Click the banner to contribute to the Comics Curmudgeon. Details here.

Well, it’s that time again! Once or twice a year, I host a fundraiser so fans of the Comics Curmudgeon can thank Josh for the time, effort, and talent he puts into it every day.

A bit of history here: In 2004, newspapers moving news and features online discovered they couldn’t necessarily take syndicated comics along. King, Creators, Tribune, and other syndicates were finding their own ways to license, package, and monetize their comics online. But the uncurated, fragmented online experience that resulted just wasn’t the same as sitting down at the breakfast table, snapping open the paper, and snorting in derision at For Better or For Worse, Mutts, or Mary Worth.

Into that breach stepped dyspeptic Baltimore ginger Josh Fruhlinger, who created an authentic comics-mocking experience for the 21st Century. It started modestly and faced many trials, including disruptive, near-fatal behind-the-scenes changes by The Houston Chronicle, Google, WordPress, comics syndicates, and a global army of spammers. But with determination, creativity, and a growing complement of paid outside IT and design services, Josh has prevailed — so far.

Please help him keep that going, with a generous contribution. Even if you haven’t contributed before, consider sending an amount proportional to the enjoyment Josh’s work has given you over the past year — I bet it’s a lot! If it turns out to be $25 or more, you’ll receive a stylish and practical Comics Curmudgeon tote bag in addition to Josh’s personal and effusive thanks:

To contribute by credit card or PayPal, click the banner at the top of the page and follow the instructions on the secure PayPal site. To contribute by check or money order, email uncle.lumpy@comcast.net and I’ll reply with Josh’s brand-new Los Angeles address. Full details here.

If you’d prefer to browse through the directory of banners instead of playing Refresh Roulette, you can find it here, along with more than 500 banners going back all the way to 2008.

Thank you, generous readers!

— Uncle Lumpy

Black and white Monday

Herb and Jamaal, 5/2/16

Aww, an old friend … like whatever beloved buddy Jamaal killed, cremated, put in that urn, and stone-cold pawned to save on columbarium fees? Watch your back, Herb. Nice to know he’ll visit, though — I guess that’s what old friends are for.

Andy Capp, 5/2/16

Considering all the sexual directions this conversation could have taken, I’m glad it turned out to be about soccer.

Momma, 5/2/16

Am I the only person put off when medical staff say ‘Doctor’ as if There Were Only One? It smacks of status signalling, the way even soi-disant “horizontal” organizations signal their actual hierarchies by calling staff by last names, managers by first, executives by initials or nicknames, and CEOs only as “he” or “she.” OK for employees, I guess, but I’m the doc’s customer, dammit.

Anyway, for years I thought Momma’s surname was Hobbes — with an “e” — because she’s “… solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short.” I guess “Doctor” will find that out soon enough.

B.C., 5/2/16

Six thousand years ago, just before evolution stopped, moose — even the well-endowed ones — sported delicate little bird-tails that provoked religious zealots into orgies of murderous rage.


– Uncle Lumpy